Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
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Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - The Progressive Poem Parks Here!

April 21, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, 2016 Kidlit Progressive Poem

Happy Poetry Friday. What Fun! The 2016 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, brainchild of our ever-ambitious and generous Irene Latham, parks right here today.

A couple of nights ago, my husband and I were strolling along the beautiful Waterfront Park here in Beaufort. Out in the river, coming into the harbor, was one of the Intracoastal Waterway cruise ships we see docked here a few times each month. Only this one wasn’t yet docked. It was gliding toward us under guidance from its unseen captain and crew.

The big boat slowly powered forward, then swung itself around in the opposite direction in a move that would make a falling cat proud. It gradually drifted sideways and backwards, parallel to the dock. When it got very close, crew members tossed out ropes to another shipmate who had hopped ashore.

It was quite the orchestrated event, and after its trip the big boat was settled for a few days. I was thinking how this communal poem is just a bit like that – a journey directed by different folks along the way, from Laura’s first line to the last one which Donna will provide. And lots of us in between, who don’t wan’t to toss out the ropes before the dock is in sight!

Many thanks to those who have penned lines up to this point, and the next several to come…

2016 Progressive Poem

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.
A hummingbird holds and then hies.
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees.

A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand.
If I could breathe under the sea,
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee.

A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
Kites soar while joyful dogs run.
I sing to spring, to budding green,
to all of life – seen and unseen.

Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
and finally reach one divining seer
who looks up from her perch and beams —
West Wind is dreaming May, it seems.

Golden wings open and gleam
as I greet the prancing team.
Gliding aside with lyrical speed,
I’d ride Pegasus to Ganymede.

To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns
blowing soft words the seer discerns

Now our poem travels to Ramona at Pleasures from the Page!

And if you’ll make your way to Jama's Alphabet Soup, our inspiring-as-always Jama has the Roundup this week. (Be sure to tell her thanks for rounding up all the great Kidlitosphere activities during National Poetry Month, too!)


  1. April 21, 2016 11:20 PM EDT
    We're headed to the ocean in about 6 weeks, but your words made me want to be there right now, Robyn! What a lovely scene you set and good analogy, the community working together to "dock". And your poem line calls well for those mysterious words we've been waiting for. Hm-m, now waiting for Ramona!
    - Linda Baie
  2. April 22, 2016 7:13 AM EDT
    The journey of this poem fascinates me. We are going from grounded imagery to mythical mysticism. What will the seer discern? What wisdom is there in all of this traveling? Love your analogy to the docking of a ship.
    - Margaret Simon
  3. April 22, 2016 7:24 AM EDT
    Glad you & your hubby had that waterfront walk.
    And appreciations for this lovely line.
    "Soft words!" What are they?
    - Bookseedstudio/Jan Annino
  4. April 22, 2016 7:33 AM EDT
    I want to hear those words! Thank you, Robyn - no easy feat, rhyming with "return." Brava! And LOVE. xo
    - Irene Latham
  5. April 22, 2016 7:45 AM EDT
    One more week--where will it end up? It's certainly had an interesting journey so far.
    - Diane Mayr
  6. April 22, 2016 9:20 AM EDT
    You live in a beautiful place, Robyn. I like your ship/progressive poem comparison.
    What would a zephyr say? I look forward to finding out!
    - Tabatha
  7. April 22, 2016 9:21 AM EDT
    Hi, Linda - I love how you embrace such different geography throughout the year. Thanks, and I'm sure Ramona will come up with something inspired!

    Margaret, thanks - this poem definitely seems to be in and out of realms, doesn't it?

    Thanks for the hand-off, Jan - your "zephyr" was blowing around me all day yesterday - lovely company!

    Hi, Irene - choices were a wee bit limited in the rhyme department, but enough - and I love a challenge. Thanks!

    Where indeed, Diane? No idea, but we'll enjoy watching the journey. :0)

    - Robyn Black
  8. April 22, 2016 9:23 AM EDT
    The poem is growing wings and an oracular voice. Great new line.
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales
  9. April 22, 2016 9:23 AM EDT
    Come visit, Tabatha! I wonder what words will appear, too. With Jan's line, I was immediately reminded of Chris Van Allsburg's THE WRECK OF THE ZEPHYR; my kids loved that book!
    - Robyn Black
  10. April 22, 2016 9:25 AM EDT
    Thanks, Brenda - "Oracular" is a great word! Though glad I didn't have to find a rhyme for it... ;0)
    - Robyn Black
  11. April 22, 2016 10:46 AM EDT
    It's been such fun to see how this poem has been developing this month. I like the enchantment, the mystery, the lyrical beauty. I'm intrigued now by those soft words . . . :)
    - jama
  12. April 22, 2016 11:33 AM EDT
    This has become such an intriguing journey! Glad you've brought the focus back to the seer and those soft words!
    - Buffy Silverman
  13. April 22, 2016 11:37 AM EDT
    Loved how you saw it the poem come back to echo:
    "Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
    and finally reach one divining seer"
    using the previous line
    "To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns" with your:
    "blowing soft words the seer discerns"
    It really ties it together. Fascinating poem.
    But I'm starting to sweat.
    - Donna Smith
  14. April 22, 2016 3:18 PM EDT
    I love the travel, journey, boat rope allusion. A beautiful line, definitely. I sure like this year's poem a lot. Thanks for what you've added.
    - Joy Acey
  15. April 22, 2016 8:44 PM EDT
    I've lost touch with this poem for a few days. How wonderful to get reacquainted here at the deckle edge! The poem seems to be having quite an adventure! Thanks for your masterful steering toward the dock, Robyn.
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  16. April 22, 2016 8:48 PM EDT
    Well played. Lovely lovely line! Such a cool and unexpected rhyme too. xx
    - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  17. April 22, 2016 8:59 PM EDT
    You keep the mystery going,as to what the seer is hearing...nicely done!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  18. April 22, 2016 11:53 PM EDT
    Hi, Jama - I wonder what those words are too! Thanks for swinging by.

    Glad you like it, Buffy - I wonder what our narrator might learn from that seer?

    Donna, thanks so much! And, Ha! I understand. But your line will be terrific, I'm sure. :0)

    Thanks, Joy! It's an intriguing poem this year for sure.

    Hi, Michelle - Merci. I keep losing days and having to catch up myself! It will be fun to see where it goes.

    Why thanks, Miss Amy LV. ;0) Very kind.

    Howdy, Matt - thanks for popping in. I look forward to seeing where the mystery goes....

    - Robyn Black
  19. April 23, 2016 6:50 AM EDT
    Only a few more days and it's my turn! Gah! I hope that what I imagine for this poem's direction will bring it gracefully into the dock!
    - Mary Lee
  20. April 23, 2016 10:39 AM EDT
    Nice line, Robyn. I wonder if we'll hear directly from the seer? If we'll hear those soft words?
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  21. April 24, 2016 5:11 PM EDT
    Hi, Mary Lee - your line will be just what it needs and more, I know!

    Thanks, Penny. I wonder too! Now I need to do some weekend catching-upping. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  22. April 25, 2016 12:53 AM EDT
    Here I am trying to catch up on some PF reading and loving the line your composed for the poem-got that soft breeze moving in. I am curious to see what the seer discerns.
    - Carol Varsalona
  23. April 26, 2016 10:14 AM EDT
    Thanks for breezing by, too, Carol! I need to go catch up on the last couple of days now myself. :0)
    - Robyn Black

Quick Clicks

bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!